Little Green Cars’ and Soda Blonde’s Adam O’Regan and Faye O’Rourke — ‘The focus is on the future. It must be’
The resurgence in sales of vinyl records has been one of the unexpected highs for the music industry over the past decade, but it’s not all rosy. Currently, global demand for LP vinyl is outstripping production capacity, and specialized presses tend to favor those who order in bulk. So, priority goes to artists like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and The 1975. Those who aren’t superstar-level — in other words, almost any contemporary act on your Spotify playlist — should be. waiting in line. And the delay is long.
ublin quartet Soda Blonde has practically finished their second album but if they wait for the vinyl copies, it won’t be out for another year. “It was a nightmare,” said guitarist and keyboardist Adam O’Regan, “and we decided we weren’t going to let that dictate the release.”
The plan is to release an album – a sequel to their 2021 Music Nominee Small Talk — in late summer or early fall and then, the following year (whenever it comes back from the press) release records on LPs. “We’re really proud of that,” says O’Regan, who is currently mixing on the album. “We felt we had something really special and we didn’t want to wait. And we feel, given our fan base, that they’re the ones who really want to contribute to the band and that they’ll be happy to go the Spotify route and wait for the vinyl.” Soda Blonde singer Faye O’Rourke believes it’s the best solution. She said: “Sitting on a track that will soon be ready for release is not something we want to do.
The two have known each other for half of their lives and often end each other’s sentences. They may just be in their thirties, but they are real veterans of the music business, having written songs together since their teenage years. They started making significant waves on the Irish music scene shortly after leaving school and by their early 20s they were already considered people worth watching.
The pair form the core of Soda Blonde and are also the centerpiece of their previous band, Little Green Cars. That group released two much-loved albums, including one that topped the Irish charts, and music critics and industry executives in the 2010s seemed convinced they were will make it happen.
To be fair, Little Green Cars is a household name among music-loving households, but they haven’t enjoyed the massive commercial success that many feel are worthy of folk songs- their smart rock. Soda Blonde, formed from the ashes of Little Green Cars, maintains the same quality as before, although in a different package and the band’s desire to reach as many people as possible remains undiminished. “We’re really good at what we do,” says O’Rourke. It’s not a bragging, more genuine belief. “We feel like our music can connect with people and we’ve never been afraid to say it.”
“I thought we were going to sell out Madison Square Garden,” said O’Regan, chuckling. “Next year!” The duo talked animatedly about the new album. The finished piece of art — and looks amazing when O’Rourke performs Life pictures on his phone. They will hope that the title – which they do not wish to reveal – becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Apparently, major life events went into the songs. O’Regan married his American student and doctor girlfriend last year, and O’Rourke is set to marry actor Fionn Foley next month. O’Regan is still in the honeymoon phase. “I love it,” he said. “We are living in Dublin 8 with our little cat. We are close friends. There’s something about that stability and structure [of marriage] that makes me feel good. “O’Rourke and Foley have been together for many years. She joked that two people who work in the creative field both know about financial instability. “What the hell was I thinking?” she smiles happily. “We have been deceived. I am a very passionate person and I think after making my decision, but not in this case.
“Me and Fionn got engaged very quickly three years ago. So ‘ha-ha’ for those who think we did it too soon! I am truly inspired by Fionn’s creativity and drive and that is an important part of helping me come to terms with my own work capacity and what I am capable of. I see him getting up at 9am and stopping at 8pm, whereas my day is usually a bit more sluggish. I am forever grateful to him because he changed my life and the way I view my work.
“I had a lot of confidence issues when I was younger and I think it’s natural for anyone to be in their teens and get into music. I’m just learning how to be as productive as possible without these negative voices stopping you from doing things.”
O’Rourke says she’s keen to seize opportunities when they come, rather than just hoping that the quality of the music will open the door on its own. One such opportunity occurred last week when Soda Blonde performed an unusual gig sponsored by Jameson. In addition to performing their own choreography at the The Camden venue in Dublin, they joined co-manager, Soak, for a special performance of a song the two artists had worked on together.
Video of the day
Soak, for those who don’t know, is the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Derry Bridie Monds-Watson. Having appeared in the non-binary form a few years ago, Monds-Watson prefers to be referred to by the pronoun surname/surname. “Bridie is someone we really respect and we love their job,” O’Rourke said. “We basically grew up with them and are doing things like Other Voices together. They are 15 years old and we are about 19. Jameson has approached us and they will be our joint first choice.”
O’Rourke and Soak have worked together before. “Gerry Leonard, music director of David Bowie, assembled a group of singers to perform
with him after he passed away and me and Bridie did a duet Space adventure together.”
Cooperation, O’Rourke said, is one of the hallmarks of the current Irish music scene. O’Rourke and O’Regan met at the age of 14 through a mutual friend, Stevie Appleby. O’Regan said: “She was a good friend of Stevie and he went to the same school with me. “It wasn’t too long until we started making music together. Stevie and I are writing songs. We spend every day together after school writing and recording music.
“One day, Faye came after school and played us a song she wrote called Georgie Porgie and Stevie and I looked at each other and said, ‘Fuck. This is better than anything we’ve ever tried to do.” The next song I heard her do made me think, ‘This person has a way of writing lyrics that I’ve never heard before’. We will always make music together from that point on.”
O’Rourke, O’Regan and Appleby joined forces with Donagh Seaver O’Leary on bass and Dylan Lynch on drums, and Little Green Cars was born. “Forget the rocky road to Dublin,” The guardian praised in 2012, “this Irish rock/country band is on the highway into the heart of America.”
The following year, they played a wonderfully catchy single, Harper Lee, on Jimmy Fallon’s TV show. It seems like they can’t do anything wrong, especially when it comes to album release, Not absolute, has been rambling with a lot of good songs. But while the band played to a packed house — something that continued with the second album, Ephemera – success is not duplicated abroad.
“There was a time,” O’Regan admitted, “that really bothered me. It was like, ‘How can this not happen to us?’”
“It can eat you alive,” says O’Rourke. “I feel better now about not looking back at the past, the what-ifs. The focus is on the future. It has to be like that.”
Little Green Cars has ended in 2019 when Appleby decided to walk away. At the time, that old chestnut “creative difference” was cited, but even four years later, one feels especially O’Rourke, finding it difficult to talk about it. “Little Green Cars cannot go on without Stevie,” she said. “If one of us leaves, it’s over. That is always the case.
In 2021, in an interview with Irish Times, Appleby broke his silence. Admitting that he didn’t pick up his guitar for two years after the road mates split, he didn’t hold back. “The band is to me and my mind like an old horse that refuses to move. We whip it and whip it until we whip it to death. We left the studio because they wanted us to start playing EDM [electronic dance music], which we said: ‘F**k that’. So we left the mark and went almost without a rudder.
“Then the guys wanted to create a pop music genre like they are doing now in Soda Blonde, but I wanted to create softer music. In the end, we both got what we wanted; They get to do what they love, and I get to do what I love.
O’Rourke winced at the memory of saying, “I have no comment,” she said, looking at her bandmate.
O’Regan chooses his words carefully. “I don’t think Soda Blonde ever wanted us to go mainstream. I think the word ‘pop’ has always felt like a dirty word in Little Green Cars. What was implied there [in Appleby’s quote] is a decision that pushes things in a deep or superficial direction and that is certainly not the case. I feel like we’ve always just wanted to make great music that connects like we’re trying to do now.”
“And that is evident in the music we release in Soda Blonde. The music speaks for itself in its depth. We never intentionally made music for radio,” says O’Rourke.
“Stevie,” added O’Regan, “is a folk singer and he eventually wanted to compose folk music.”
Does friendship exist?
“I don’t think,” said O’Rourke, “that we can talk about that.”
“There’s a good documentary somewhere,” O’Regan said with a wry smile. “I think we are all reasonable people and in the end we have nothing but love for Stevie. Instead of thinking about a reshuffled quintet” – an answer to the question of whether they could one day regroup as a group of five – “I just wanted to chat about the things that matter.” how great and the like. I do not know; It felt as if the ship might have set sail.
O’Rourke says she hopes Little Green Cars won’t dominate this article. “We are leaving that behind,” she said. “Blonde Soda is still very new and that is where we focus. As you enter your 30s, you will naturally become more aware of what you want out of life. We’re happiest when we’re making music, but we have to leave some things behind, just rock ‘n’ roll. In short, we are very crazy people.”
She joked. She is a musician who has always taken her profession seriously, never more seriously than now. “We have full creative control when it comes to our music, and we’ve worked hard to make this album the best it can be.” Admirers will soon find out for themselves but vinyl lovers will have to wait a little longer.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/little-green-cars-and-soda-blondes-adam-oregan-and-faye-orourke-the-focus-is-on-the-future-it-has-to-be-42385807.html Little Green Cars’ and Soda Blonde’s Adam O’Regan and Faye O’Rourke — ‘The focus is on the future. It must be’